Aristocrat Leisure Relocates Ukrainian Workforce, Cuts Ties with Russia

Australian gaming machine manufacturer Aristocrat Leisure Limited has become the latest to join the ranks of industry companies that have cut ties with Russia over its illegal invasion of Ukraine. The company said that it would suspend any existing business ties for the time being and assured that the move would not impact its earnings. Aristocrat though has taken measures to start relocating its local workforce in Ukraine while exploring options for its Russian staff members.

Aristocrat Outlines Its Action Plan in Ukrainian Crisis

In an ASX filing from today, Aristocrat highlighted the importance of keeping its own workforce safe. Many of the company’s employees in Europe are based in Ukraine with some 1,000 people working for the company’s business units. Most of them are part of the Aristocrat Pixel United organization which has now been able to help two-thirds of the workforce relocate to safer locations either within the country or internationally.

Aristocrat has similarly set up teams on the ground in Poland that can assist Ukrainian staff members’ families with relocation, transport, legal help, and visa, as well as finding housing and more. Overall, the Australian company has acted proactively in assuring that its team members are safe every step of the way. The ASX filing specifically said:

“The business is leveraging its broad network of studios and operations across Europe, the US and Israel, and its combined global capabilities, to put in place effective mitigations and uphold business continuity.”

Aristocrat Leisure Limited

Part of the success of Aristocrat’s relocation efforts has been because of the nature of the work of Pixel United studios, which allow for much of the workforce to participate in the work process remotely. At the same time, the company is setting up an office in Wroclaw, Poland, one of the major artery cities in the country, which is traditionally visited by Ukrainians for work, travel, and leisure.

Gambling Industry Condemns Invasion of Ukraine

Aristocrat said that its mobile games would no longer be available in Russia which accounts for 3% of the total revenue the Pixel United units realized together on annual basis. The company tersely said that it would continue to support its Russian employees depending on the situation and what is allowed.

Aristocrat is hardly the only company to send an unequivocal signal towards the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Genius Sports announced on the weekend that it is withdrawing from doing business in Russia and Belarus, the co-belligerent country that is helping Russia in its war against Ukraine.

Other industry companies have joined, most notably Clarion Gaming which suspended work with companies, individuals, and state entities from both Belarus and Russia. Prior to that, both bet365 and Parimatch have withdrawn from the country. As the situation continues to evolve, the gambling industry has come together to offer relief to the people of Ukraine donating roughly $333,000 to the relief effort.

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